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2 Teens Killed in Sex Video Extortion Plot: Cops

By Aditi Mukherji, JD | Last updated on

An alleged sex video extortion plot gone tragically wrong led to two teens being killed and a man being charged with murder, investigators say.

The man, 43-year-old William Otto of Adams County, Colorado, confessed to shooting and killing the two teenage boys when they allegedly hatched a plot to blackmail him for $20,000 with a video of him asking one of the boys for sex.

Otto has been charged with first-degree murder. What defenses could he potentially try to claim?

Extortion Plot Alleged

The boys -- Gustavo "Danny" Espinosa-Gamboa, 16, and Jonathan Gonzalez, 15 -- recorded a video of Otto asking for permission to perform oral sex on Danny, investigators say. The video also showed Otto touching Danny inappropriately, reports ABC News.

Later on, the boys allegedly showed up at Otto's house and told him they wanted $10,000 each.

If the boys had been successful in their alleged ruse, then they would have committed the crime of extortion.

Extortion involves inducing someone to give you property (usually money) through the wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence or fear. Here, Otto feared the boys would cause criminal charges to be brought against him for sexual offenses.

But the boys weren't successful in their attempt. According to investigators, they were the ones who paid the ultimate price.

Could 'Make My Day' Law Be a Defense?

When Otto wouldn't pay up, Jonathan allegedly grabbed a large butcher knife and Danny stood behind him. Otto then retrieved his .22 caliber revolver and fatally shot them both, according to ABC News.

Colorado, however, has a very strong self-defense law based on the "castle doctrine." The law -- often referred to as the "Make My Day Law" -- has been in place since 1985.

Under Colorado's law, a home's occupant can use deadly force, without retreating, against any intruder who intends to commit a crime, or who uses "any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant." However, if the boys were invited into the home, then they likely can't be considered intruders. In that case, Otto may not be able to claim self-defense.

It's not clear if Otto has yet retained a criminal defense lawyer, ABC News reports. He is set to appear in court tomorrow.

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